Journalist dismisses Oudkerk’s ‘lies’
22 January 2004
AMSTERDAM — In what is developing into a major war of words, journalist Heleen van Royen has accused former Amsterdam Alderman Rob Oudkerk of lying when he claims he did not give permission for her to reveal he regularly visited prostitutes.
The scandal eventually forced the resignation on Monday of the Amsterdam Education and Social Affairs Alderman, primarily because he had visited a sex worker on the city’s infamous prostitution zone on the Theemsweg.
Set up in the 1990s to give drug addicted prostitutes a safe place to work, the zone became a haven for human trafficking, illegal immigrants and organised crime. The Amsterdam Council shut it down last month.
Oudkerk recently confessed to Van Royen in a conversation in a city café that he visited prostitutes and surfed to pornography websites on his council-supplied work computer, but has claimed he never gave her permission to use his name in a subsequent newspaper article that led to his downfall.
“And what is private, should have stayed private,” Oudkerk said.
But an infuriated Van Royen responded with: “Oudkerk lies time after time”. She swiftly dismissed claims that she had agreed to keep him anonymous. Van Royen also said doubts about her credibility had unjustly been raised “for the umpteenth time”.
“I have written up everything precisely the way he said. After saying goodbye at the car park garage, he said: ‘I will read it’,” she said.
Oudkerk is considering taking legal action against newspaper Het Parool, which published the Van Royen column. But Editor-in-Chief Erik van Gruijthuijsen said the newspaper had made a reasonably wise decision to publish the column.
The disgraced politician is also demanding an external investigation into the leaking of personally sensitive material from the police district files of Amsterdam and The Hague. But authorities said on Wednesday they only intend to conduct an internal investigation.
Meanwhile, the Labour PvdA has proposed that Amsterdam party leader Tjalling Halbertsma assume responsibility for the education and social affairs portfolio vacated by his party colleague Oudkerk.
Halbertsma requested the weekend to think about it and will inform the party of his decision on Monday.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news